Old habits are hard to die. Many people believe that phrase, but it isn’t necessarily true. If known the right way to get rid of a bad habit for good, then it shouldn’t be really hard. Whether it is nail biting, hair pulling, lip chewing, or any other bad habit you’re involved in, there is always a cure if you are committed to break the habit.
The first step in conquering any problem is recognizing the problem, you need to realize you have a bad habit and you are devoted enough to get rid of it. This step will motivate you to complete the other steps needed to get over your problem. Usually habits start at childhood, and it makes sense, why would a fully grown man start biting his cheeks unless he was used to doing so from childhood? Here are tips for breaking your bad habits:
1) Don’t expect to stop your habit for good right away.
When deciding to quit something you’re accustomed to do, at some point, you will feel the urge to do it again and will probably get back to it. It will discourage your motivation and you would finally give in to your habits. That is why it is important not to expect your habits to fade just from the first try. Learn to forgive yourself if you ever relapse and give yourself time. You need to know that habits are born with time and will take time to die.
2) Most Habits are genetically transferred.
Some habit-doers worry that there is a great problem or an unidentified deep reason behind their habits. Fortunately, it’s been proven that most of those habits are usually genetically transferred and are common in the family. This behavior has been noticed in humans as well as animals. Hence, it’s good to know that you are not alone and you are absolutely normal.
3) Seek help from someone who cares.
Once a person sets their mind to achieve something, nothing seems impossible. Imagine what it would be like if two people set their minds to achieving that goal? A friend in need is a friend indeed, and having a friend who would let you know every time you are spotted doing that bad habit would help in getting you back on track!
4) Keep a journal.
Sometimes, looking at a picture from another perspective can help you see things differently and more clearly. This works with habits too, you might need to get them out of your head and write them down for your eyes to analyze. Once you write them down you’re in control of them instead of them taking over your head. You should also document the progress you’ve reached to motivate you and make you look forward for further improvement.
5) Know your triggers.
Notice what urges you to bite that nail or pull that hair. For instance, if you find yourself looking for an uneven part on the tips of your nails stop the search as it would urge you to bite your nails even. Once you notice such an action, switch into another action that distracts the feeling away.
6) Make it harder for you to do that habit.
The urge will start to get weaker once you feel that there is much effort needed to do it. For instance, putting your hands in vinegar would make it repulsive for you to bite you nails and the effort needed for you to get up and wash your hands would help you, with time, to stop doing that habit. This works as well as you finding a more satisfying and less harmful alternative.